35mm · Film photography · Photography

Out near Thorpe Salvin

A bunch of photos that I made on a big looping walk from Thorpe Salvin a few weeks ago. I’ve posted several photos from the same walk in previous posts here, here, here, here & here.

These are all from the second roll of film I started during the walk, some expired Fuji Superia 100. It expired 12 years ago but has been cold-stored and it still looks great. I sometimes overexpose it slightly, but it looks good shot at box speed too, as can be seen in the photos here.

It’s a bit of a random selection of some of the things I passed while walking and I’ll post them as they come, without any commentary.

The corner of Little Lane

Those bungalows again

Country airstrip

Fence and chain

More big daisies

Dove on a streetlight

Nikon F80, Nikkor 28-80mm f/3.5-5.6 & Fuji Superia 100 (expired 2008). The last shot was with my Sigma 105mm f/2.8 OS HSM lens.

Taken on 31 May 2020

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Wellies

On the day I started my street-portraits project, I parked my car on a street close to the city centre. My intent had been to use all twelve frames of the Portra 400 for the photographs of strangers I planned to make. However the first thing I saw was this corner cafe and I made a photo of it before I even came close to asking a person for their picture.

I’m wondering if a “corner shops” project might also be fun to do too. It has benefits of not being as stressful to pursue as asking people for their portraits, plus it has that social history angle of recording structures at a moment in time. I always enjoy looking at photographs of how things used to be and this will be my own small addition to the genre.

Obviously, most photographs I make that have recogniseable locations or contemporary objects in the frame do this to some extent anyway, but most of those are made randomly as a result of my particular eye for subject, not part of a more focussed project.

If I do pursue this, it will be concurrent with the street-portraits project, which I fully intend to complete.

Anyway, here’s the sort of thing I would envisage as part of the project…

Wellies

Yashica Mat 124G & Kodak Portra 400.

Taken on 11 July 2020

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

One hundred people who I don’t know #1-9

This post contains my first set of portraits for my “One-hundred people who I don’t know” project which I first posted about here.

The aim of the project is to make one-hundred portraits, each subject being a person I don’t know, using the same camera and film for consistency of results (and also to allow me to see how I develop and, hopefully, improve through the course of the project).

The camera chosen is my Yashica Mat 124G TLR, and I will be using Kodak Portra 400 film.

My first outing took place last weekend and I was quite nervous about the endeavour. I’m far from an extrovert person and I was concerned as to how people might react when a stranger asked them if he could make their portrait, but the outing resulted in my asking fourteen people, eleven of whom kindly agreed, which I count as a resounding success!

Of the eleven photos, nine of them turned out successfuully enough to form part of the project. Some of these nine are not perfect – the fault of myself for missing focus or firing the shutter at the wrong time to get the picture I’d envisaged – but not so much that I won’t include them. It may be that I set myself stricter technical standards in future, but for now I’m happy with what I achieved.

The two shots that didn’t make the cut were more noticeably out of focus. Again, my fault, not the subjects. My apologies to both!

So, in chronological order, here we go…

#1 – This was the second person I asked on the day but the first to say yes. I like the backdrop of the photo as it does a good job of isolating the person in the frame. I wish I’d gotten his face-mask a little more in frame – a little detail that places the picture in time.

One-hundred people who I don't know #1

#2 – The third person I asked and the second to agree to take part. She was friendly when asked, replying “Well, you don’t know me!” when I explained my aim of photographing one-hundred strangers. She left her mask in place, which I don’t mind at all. As per my comment on the photo above, it’s a good marker of the times we’re currently going through.

One-hundred people who I don't know #2

#3 – This guy was the sixth person asked, although the fifth person I’d photographed as the previous shot was one of those that didn’t quite work out. Spotting the guy’s cameras, I thought that he might be more inclined to let me photograph him, and I was right. He chatted a little about my camera as he has one the same. He also gave me his business card and I’d intended to send him a copy of his photo but I managed to lose the card somewhere. If you’re reading this, my apologies!

One-hundred people who I don't know #3

#4 – The seventh person asked (and the first in an unbroken run of six people who all agreed to participate – everyone else I asked on the day in fact). I felt a little guilty as he was listening to music on a pair of ear-buds that I didn’t notice until he removed one when I asked if I could take his picture.

One-hundred people who I don't know #4

#5 – The first of two street musicians whose portraits I made. I did wonder if these should count for the project – although they were both asked if I could make a picture, and they’re both people I don’t know, the fact that they’re probably photographed by lots of people amde me wonder if this was a bit of a cheat on my part. But, hey, it’s my project so street performers are in (as long as I ask their permission to make a portrait).

One-hundred people who I don't know #5

#6 – This chap was stood outside the entrance to a department store and, while I didn’t ask, I wondered if he might have been waiting for his partner to emerge. He allowed me to make the photograh, but presented me with a profile view. I like this shot a lot – it’s one of the few that show a nice fall-off in depth of field, and it also has the sharpest focus on the subject of all the images I made. I like the profile view too.

One-hundred people who I don't know #6

#7 – I spotted this woman carrying the potted plant and instantly thought that she would make for a nice portrait. The plant would provide an added bit of story to the photograph. I wasn’t, however, willing to ask her to stand still with the heavy-looking plant while I made the picture, and thought I would have to miss the opportunity. So I was quite pleased when she stopped to have a breather by perching the plant atop a roadside bollard as it gave me a chance to ask if she’d take part. I wish I’d made the photo when she was looking towards me, but I’m still very happy with the result. She was the only person on the day who asked if I would be publishing the photos anywhere, so I gave her the address of the blog. If you’re reading this, thank you once more. I really appreciate your letting me make the picture.

One-hundred people who I don't know #7

#8 – Another person who I suspect might have been waiting for his other-half to emerge from a nearby shop. I quite like the central positioning on this one. Because of social-distancing rules, it was difficult to get head-and-shoulders type shots using the Yashica Mat’s fixed 80mm lens, and I’ve ended up with a variety of different stlyes. These compositional choices are things that I hope I will become more proficient with over time.

One-hundred people who I don't know #8

#9 – Another favourite from the set, and the second street musician portrait. I like the sense of action in the picture, as well as the framing of the man and his reflection in the door panels behind him. It’s not completely in focus on his face if you zoom right in, but not so much as to be detrimental to the photograph.

One-hundred people who I don't know #9

The two shots where I missed the mark were of a girl running an ice-cream van. She had a beaming smils and I’m disappointed the photo was a little out of focus. The second was the last person I photographed on the day, another photographer who was walking the length of the city-centre with his camera – a Nikon F5 I think.

All things considered, I think I did ok on this initial outing. I have a lot to learn, but at least I now know that many people are happy to let a stranger make their portrait, which was perhaps the biggest hurdle for me to overcome.

More to come as the project continues!

Yashica Mat 124G & Kodak Portra 400.

Taken on 11 July 2020

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Three poppies

I’ve had the day off work today as the garden fence needed painting. I’ve been at it all day and it’s still not finished (there’s a lot of fence!) and now I’m exhausted. As a result, I don’t have the energy to type anything lengthy, so here’s a photograph of some poppies I made about six weeks ago. Gotta love this expired Superia! 🙂

Three poppies

Nikon F80, Sigma 105mm f/2.8 OS HSM & Fuji Superia 100 (expired 2008).

Taken on 31 May 2020

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Further expired Ektachrome photos

A few further shots from the roll of expired Ektachrome I posted about yesterday.

This first shot has had the most tweaking of the ones presented here today and it still has more residual purple tones than the others. I had to take care to not reduce the colour of the foxgloves while removing the tint.

Ferns and foxgloves

The next shot is of the Wilkin Hill Outdoor Centre, or rather the former outdoor centre as it appears to have been abandoned for quite some time. It does appear to have a new roof though, so perhaps it’s under development.

Outdoor Centre

The final two images are of Agden Dike, one of the main water sources that feeds Agden reservoir. The expired Ektachrome has performed remarkably well on the first shot, giving a broad range of tones with only a few issues on the brightest sunlit silver birch trunks in the background.

In the shade by the water

The last photograph here is probably my favourite from this roll. I’m unsure if someone has placed this branch and fern into the river (it looks wedged in by rocks) or if it’s actually a small tree-stump that a fern has colonised. Whatever the case, it looks like a miniature palm tree. I’m pretty happy that I was able to focus accurately with a narrow aperture and up-close with the Zeiss’ uncoupled rangefinder focus. It isn’t a problem on more distant subjects and with the wider apertures I normally choose with this camera, but manually transferring the focus from the rangefinder to the lens in a shot like this takes care, and I’m glad to have gotten it pretty much on the nail.

The world's smallest palm tree

Zeiss Mess-Ikonta 524/16 & Kodak Ektachrome E200S (expired 2003).

Taken on 22 June 2020

Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Surprisingly nice expired Ektachrome from 2003

A few photos today from my hike around Dale Dyke reservoir that I posted about a few weeks ago. I mentioned in that post about taking the Zeiss Mess-Ikonta 524/16 on the hike along with the Yashica Mat 124G. I’d loaded it with a roll of Ektachrome E200S that had expired back in 2003. I can’t remember where exactly I’d gotten the film from now, but I had no idea as to how it had been stored. I shot the first of the rolls with my Holga back in October last year. That roll had a severe purple cast. I was able to remove it to a large extent but it left nasty purple speckles in the shadow areas. While I would be shooting this second roll in a camera with more control over aperture and shutter speed, I was still not holding out high hopes for the film.

On a walk to a reservoir

I decided to over-expose it a little given it’s age. Normally I follow the 1-stop per 10-years of expiry rule of thumb, but I’ve heard that E6 film works differently to colour negative film in this regard, so I decided to shoot it at 80asa. My mistake here was that I’d forgotten I was shooting a roll of E200S, and not E100, so I was in actual fact over-exposing the roll by more than a full stop. Thankfully, this worked out ok and probably produced better results than my original idea.

Bridge to the dam wall

When I received the developed transparencies there was still a noticeable purple cast when I scanned them, but colour correction in the scanning software, plus some further work in Lightroom managed to remove the bulk of this. There’s still a hint of purple to the results, and the deep shadow areas have a little purple speckling, but it’s barely noticeable when compared to the first roll I shot through the Holga. On the whole I’m really pleased with the results I got and it’s encouraged me to shoot some more of the E6 film I have in the fridge.

The three shots here were hand-held.

Rhododendrons by the reservoir

Zeiss Mess-Ikonta 524/16 & Kodak Ektachrome E200S (expired 2003).

Taken on 22 June 2020

35mm · Film photography · Photography

The Hub

A couple of pictures of The Hub, home of Sheffield University’s Student’s Union. This was a museum –  the National Centre for Popular Music – when it was originally opened in 1999. It closed a little over a year later due to lack of visitors (including myself).

Passing The Hub

Hub lids

Olympus OM-2n, F.Zuiko 50mm f/1.8 & Ilford HP5+ (@800asa). Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 10 mins @ 20°.

Taken on 21 June 2020

35mm · Film photography · Photography

My local lab has re-opened!

The local lab that I use for developing has re-opened. Well, in actual fact it opened weeks ago, but I’ve only just spotted that the walk-in reception has now opened again too, meaning I can drop off and collect films without faffing about paying (and waiting) for postage.

Given I’ve been developing my black and white film at home since the lockdown took place, it’s likely that I won’t use them as much as I used to, but today I had a roll of Provia 100F to get developed – I don’t have the chems for E6 film, not do I really want the faff of the temperature control involved. I also had a roll of HP5+ that I was going to develop myself but, as I won’t get the chance until after next weekend, I decided to take the lazy option and pay for it to be devved on this occasion.

I’ve not scanned either roll yet, but the Provia shots look nice and, while I’m not an expert at reading negatives, the HP5 shots look good too – something I’m pleased about as I took a few shots without realising I’d accidentally knocked my light-meter’s ASA setting to 800!.  I’ll try scanning both rolls with Vuescan on my Epson this week to see how they compare with my usual Epsonscan process.

Today’s photo is as hot of a building in the city centre. I liked the play of sunlight on the windows. It’s one of a number of photos I made with the 28-70mm Tamron Adaptall lens that came with the OM-2n when I bought it, but it’s quite soft in comparison with my Zuiko lenses, so I think I’ll sell it on. It hasn’t fared too badly with this scene though.

In sunlight

Olympus OM-2n, Tamron Adaptal 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6 & Ilford HP5+ (@800asa). Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 10 mins @ 20°.

Taken on 28 June 2020

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Looking forlorn in the kitty cafe

In recent years there have been a significant number of cat cafes open in the UK. These are regular cafes, but home to several cats. The idea being that you get to enjoy a coffee and some cake while watching, stroking and (if they’ll let you) cuddling the cats. You usually have to book a place as they’re very popular and entry to the premises is controlled through an airlock-style double door system to prevent mass escapes.

As with so many other things however, the cat cafes have been hit by the pandemic and lockdown. While some may be starting to re-open now, when I passed this one a few weeks ago it was still closed for business and this little lady was looking forlornly from the window.

Looking forlorn in the kitty cafe

Olympus OM-2n, F.Zuiko 50mm f/1.8 & Ilford HP5+ (@800asa). Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 10 mins @ 20°.

Taken on 21 June 2020